We’ve waited for four years for Bat For Lashes’ follow-up album to The Haunted Man. When we saw the mysterious video for I Do, I couldn’t hold my excitement. Now, it’s finally here. The Bride’s beautiful melodies combined with Natasha Khan’s powerful voice was certainly worth the wait. It’s pure magic.
I Do starts us off by introducing us to the melodic, beautiful sound that travels throughout the album. Its lightness provides the perfect appetiser for the lyrical feast that’s to come. It leads into Joe’s Dream, which is the perfect example of her incredible storytelling skills. She creates vivid images in our heads through her powerful descriptions. “There’s a tear in my lover’s eyes // he’s at my window // it’s a gloomy night // said he dreamt of God’s searchlight// it remembered his name.”
Honeymooning Alone presents another chapter to the heartbreaking story that we heard in In God’s House. The tail begins with car crash sound, which connects to sinister melody. The chorus sends chills down your spine as the meaning of the haunting harmonies of “honeymooning alone” set in your mind. The pace quickens as Sunday Love starts. Her stunning voice is still the star of the show as she breaks our hearts while singing about an unfaithful partner.
Widow’s Peak is the reason why I love Khan. She doesn’t sing in this one, just speaks. Her voice is clear and strong, while the music is light and hypnotic. It suddenly grows creepy as she says the words “the widow is on my trail”. It’s the description of a nightmare, but I can’t stop listening to it.
In If I Knew, the light piano leads us to a story about someone saying goodbye to an easy relationship that ended without any bad blood. When she sings “if I knew what I know now”, you brace yourself for the worst. To everyone’s surprise, she finishes her sentence with “I would never turn it back around”. It’s such a gentle way to move on from someone you once loved. Don’t you wish every relationship was like this?
I wish I Will Love Again had been moved to the end of the album. It would have been the perfect message to finish with. The beating drum acts as a beating heart. It’s slow, yet uplifting. She reminds herself that she “will love again” with some beautiful harmonies, creating a hopeful atmosphere.
The final two songs come all too soon, but they leave us on a high. In Your Bed reminds us about the joy of the simple things. The clapping sound is intertwined with the music to create the rawness that embodies the honesty and realness of the track. Clouds keeps the slow yet moving melody as she sings of the white and fluffy things that float above, but once again, the music changes to a heavier sound as the clouds fill with water. It will make you want to stare up at the clouds as you take a moment to reflect on the sheer beauty of the album you just listened to.
The whole album is a dream in itself. Have a break and find a quiet space to properly appreciate the moving storyteller’s handy work.
The Bride is available now.